How did it start ?

The Sizanani mentorship programme celebrates its 10 th anniversary this year. It was launched in 2007 by Laurence Leblanc, from RATP International, the French company which operates the Gautrain. Since then, South African and foreign professionals have been mentoring learners from Alexandra township, who attend Saturday classes at St. Mary’s school (Waverley)

12 mentors started in 2017. This year (2017),
91 mentors are involved in Sizanani, looking after 150 mentees (Grade 10, 11 and 12) and most of them are doing a fantastic job !

Mentors and mentees during a guided tour of Joburg (June 2016) 

The Saturday classes at St Mary's (Ikusasa Lethu project) has been running since 1990. 

About 240 learners (Grade 10 to 12) from 5 high schools of Alexandra benefit from the extra tuition in 5 subjects. In 2016, 99 % of the Grade 12 learners got their Matric and 65 % got a bachelor pass. 3 learners got 7 distinctions, 4 got 6 distinctions, 1 got 5 distinctions, 2 got 4 distinctions, 3 got 3 distinctions...

What is it about?

The mentors are professionals working mostly in the finance sector, for trade commissions, industry, communication/media and education sector. More than two third of them are women. Half of them are from South Africa and the others are mostly French expatriates.,

They  meet their mentees approximately once a month on an outing independently organised or with other mentors (art exhibition, guided tour of Joburg, bowling, acrobranch, camps on a nature reserve in the Magaliesberg, etc.).

Camp in the Magaliesberg (December 2016)

 The youngsters from Alexandra are eager to be exposed to new experiences and share time with people from other social and cultural backgrounds. Some learners also participate to our once a  year "talent show" (songs, poetry, drama, music competition).

Apart from the outing cost, there is no financial involvement in the program (any financial donation is forbidden, except if it has an educational purpose).

The serious part involves career guidance. In South Africa, half of the students drop out from University before completing their studies; often because they applied for studies they do not enjoy. Mentors play a crucial role by providing our mentees with career information, counselling and motivation. They also help the youngsters to improve their communication skills and to look for information on internet.

In addition, our programme hosts and invites motivational speakers, representative of tertiary institutions and university students to talk to our learners.
Molefi Nyofane, a motivational speaker from UJ

Sizanani also helps the Grade 12 to enrol at UJ. In January 2017, 50 % of the 60 Matriculants who stayed in touch with Sizanani have been admitted at UJ (19), Wits (11), UP (2) and the university of Free state (1). 

 Since 2013, bursaries for an amount of approximative R 600 000 have also been made available by the “Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles” (Belgium), the RATP Foundation (France) and a few other sponsors. These scholarships, who benefited 22 students in 2016, are managed by Monique Adams, Director of Career wise.

  To know more about the programme, watch this movie (5 min) 

French version :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRA0ywmbuA

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